We’re all lovers of nature in some way shape or form. You most likely frequent my blog because you want to gather as much information as possible toward living a cleaner, healthier and less toxic and more fertile lifestyle. Well, I love helping you do that and today is no different – I’ve asked Joanne from Shop Naturally to share with us her story, what Shop Naturally is all about and why you need them to make your life THAT much better.
Joanne from Shop Naturally
Today it’s my pleasure to introduce Shop Naturally to you and share the story behind its inception, my own personal health journey, and what we’ve both grown in to.
Shop Naturally started off as an embryo way back in May 2009 when I had troubles getting my hands on some natural cleaning products. I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) since 1994. On the advice of both my doctor and naturopath, I set out on a mission to rid as many chemicals from my life as I could.
In 3 and a half years, we’ve grown from a bookshelf in a spare bedroom to a 300 square foot warehouse with a showroom and a team of staff. We stock over 2,000 products, including a wide range of natural and organic skin care, make up and body care products. We also have natural cleaning products, stainless steel, glass and bpa free plastic drink bottles, lunch boxes & lunch bags. There’s organic & natural food, snacks, plus we’re expanding in to the ‘food as medicine’ arena with cooking ingredients and medicinal herbs, which is a real passion of mine. I’m a strong believer in the healing powers of the right food. Pest control is on the cards for 2013.
I am often asked what people should do to remove toxins from their lives. I’m a big believer in ridding as many toxins as possible from my own life, and spare no expense doing so, but I understand not all my customers are in the position to do this, so we cater for customers wanting to make small changes to their home environment all the way through to those with serious allergies and health issues like myself. Whether you can afford to spend $20 or $200 as you make that first step, we’ve got a wide selection of products and advice to suit.
For a first step, I urge everyone to make small changes in their home. It can be an expensive and a daunting task otherwise. I usually start with things we can potentially ingest, so your dishwashing liquid & dishwasher powder, your toothpaste and anything you put on your lips are at the top of my list. Then, people with sensitive skin should start with their skin care regime and their laundry products. Ridding your life from anything with an artificial fragrance in it is also pretty high up on my priority list.
The kitchen pantry & fridge are next on the list. We have a zero tolerance policy for any artificial colours and flavours at Shop Naturally and we check all our food packaging for the presence of BPA, which is an endocrine disrupting hormone found in almost all commercial canned food. While we all know about BPA in drink bottles and baby bottles, the canned food issue is a well kept secret we like to expose to anyone who will listen. We stock as much organic food as we can, and in my own home, I eat almost 100% organic, with the help of a local organic food co-op & organic butcher. If you have either in your area, run towards them with open arms.
After that, your cleaning products, and in particular, nasty things like bleach and toilet cleaners which have dangerous fumes that can be inhaled should be replaced one at a time. I clean as much as I can in my own home with quality Microfibre Cloths, and anything else is done either with something simple like vinegar & bi-carb, or a natural cleaning product from my store. Weeds in the backyard get killed with a salt & vinegar solution or boiling water from the kettle.
Being healthy doesn’t always come cheap, so I am constantly making deals with suppliers and putting special offers and free gifts on for our customers. It’s important for me that everyone has the opportunity to do as much as they can to improve the safety of their own health and their family as well. Times are tough. Making this lifestyle affordable is a big goal of ours. I’m proud to be a part of the positive change that’s ticking away in the lives of our customers.
While helping customers choose safer options in their everyday products is my main passion, running the store has allowed me to become a bit of a philanthropist. I support a number of charities, including The School of St Jude in Tanzania, the micro lending business Kiva and we’ve just formed a partnership with my blog, Two Modern Cavewomen, to make monthly donations to the ME/CFS Society of Australia. 180,000 Australians are affected by this illness, and the message of clean living that both the blog and Shop Naturally promote is a good message for everyone to live by, not just those who are sick.
My own personal story is a long one, it’s a tale of an undiagnosed chronic illness, being bed bound as an adult, nervous breakdowns, hormone & fertility issues, a miscarriage, chemical sensitivities, digestive system issues and sheer frustration. I am living proof that taking the natural approach and living a clean and toxic free life can make a remarkable difference in your life. Turning all this in to a career is just icing on the cake.
You can follow my personal tales at www.twomoderncavewomen.com.au or on Facebook. If you’re interested in anything we do at Shop Naturally, please visit us. I’m always available to answer questions about how we can help you lower the burden and strain placed on your body through the use of harmful every day items.